Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Easter Sunday saw the television version of Alexander McCall Smith’s astonishingly successful The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. This screening achieved an added, if rather shocking, poignancy as a result of the death a few days earlier of the director, Anthony Minghella. I first came across Minghella’s work when he wrote some early, and excellent, screenplays for ‘Inspector Morse’. Later, I was impressed by his film of Patricia Highsmith’s brilliant, but tricky to adapt, The Talented Mr Ripley. I haven’t seen The English Patient, widely thought to be his masterpiece (and I also managed to avoid the Labour Party General Election broadcast that he turned out in 2005), but all of his work that I have seen was intelligent and appealing. His death at 54 is a tragic loss.

The following day, I watched another episode of ‘The Fixer’. The contrast between this thriller and the gentle, Botswana-based work of McCall Smith could hardly be greater. ‘The Fixer’ is tough and trendy, but I like its pace and its humour, as well as the performances of the four main characters. With television, as with books, let alone food, it’s good to vary the diet from time to time. I’ll certainly be watching ‘The Fixer’ again.

Now, this is blog post number 167. I’ve kept at it for 167 consecutive days, but I’m heading up to the North East shortly for the first of four Victorian Murder Mystery events (details on the website.) Please don’t go too far, you’ll have a respite for a mere couple of days – I’ll be back blogging on Saturday!

Meanwhile, if you haven’t done so recently, you may like to take a look at my website. There’s a new article about Anthony Berkeley, that master of Golden Age mysteries. Plus my recent interview with Minette Walters. And if all that isn’t too much, an interview of me by journalist David Morgan.

No comments: